Brussels letter week beginning April 18
EU gave Greece two weeks to clarify its plans to reinstate control over the country’s external borders. If Greece fails to address the deficiencies in its external border management, the country could face suspension from the Schengen passport-free zone.
- Visa reciprocity
The European Commission invited the European Parliament and the Council to urgently launch discussions on the state of play and way forward for visa non-reciprocity with certain third countries. The U.S., Canada and Brunei continue to apply visa requirements for citizens of some EU Member States, despite their citizens benefiting from an EU-wide visa waiver. The Commission asked the European Parliament and the Council to urgently launch discussions and to take a position and report back to the European Commission on the most appropriate forward by July 12 2016 at the latest.
- Corporate tax
-European Commission proposed plans to tackle corporate tax avoidance which is estimated to cost EU countries €50-70 billion a year in lost tax revenues in Europe. The proposal would require multinationals operating in the EU with global revenues exceeding €750 million a year to publish key information on where they make their profits and where they pay their tax in the EU on a country-by-country basis.
An agreement on the use of passenger name records (PNR) was endorsed by the European Parliament .The directive establishes common rules for airlines to share data with national authorities to help fight terrorism and serious crime.
EU High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini led a high level visit to Iran. The visit launched the basis for future cooperation between the EU and Iran across sectors ranging from trade, energy, environment, migration, human rights, to education, research and science.
The European Commission is preparing to investigate Google’s Android operating system which runs most smartphones. Google could face large fines if found guilty of abusing its dominance in online searches in Europe where it controls about 90 percent of the market.
European Parliament’s civil liberties committee debates the European Commission’s report on Turkey's progress towards meeting the EU’s requirements for visa liberalization. The Parliament as well as the Council would need to approve any proposal to exempt people in Turkey from having to have a visa when travelling to Europe.
- Greek economy
The Eurogroup will discuss the next steps and the timeline for the completion of the first review of Greece's economic adjustment program, following a presentation on the state of play by institutions.
The European Commission is scheduled to present its findings on the EU-Turkey agreement on refugee swaps on Wednesday.
The commission will also announce new measures as part of its digital single market strategy.